Due to the Gamecube’s low sales and lack of third party support not many people bothered with the console beyond triple A first party titles like Mario, Metroid and Zelda. Because of this, many games that did come out without a franchise name on it on the Gamecube got overlooked. Sleeper hits are nothing new, they have been happening in not only video games but other media way before video games were even created. Gotcha force to some people may be a sleeper hit, but look at the reviews scores online and you may think differently. Some times if you read through the review you will see that despite the bad score the game is actually fun, just with its issues. Is gotcha force a example of this or does it deserve to sleep at the bottom of the sea?
In Gotcha Force you play as Kou. A boy who teams up with a Gotcha Borg (fighting toy robots) called G Red. G Red informs Kou that the Death Force is attacking the city… and that’s it. After that there is no story worth mentioning. Characters randomly attack you and join your side with no reason. I thought the explanation for this might have been that there was a Gotcha Force anime in Japan ( There’s a anime sequence at the start of story mode that montages something that looked like episodes of a show), but I was unable to find any sort of information that pointed to that. The story never moves anywhere beyond that.
Thankfully Gotcha Forces strong point isn’t its story. The game play in gotcha force is fast paced and frantic. You’re placed into square arenas with objects to hide behind and jump on, and you fight with other Gotcha Borgs. The main buttons for attacks are B and X, which will do different things depending on which Gotcha Borg you are using. You can make very simple combos but that’s about it, the game play isn’t deep but if it was any more complex it would be difficult to keep up with the action. Combat at times is clunky but entertaining due to the fast paced action of the game. Camera could be handled better, it gets the job done but in close range combat camera may swing side to side rapidly. Be ready to take breaks though, after quite a few battles the repetitive combat gets a little old, but come back in a few hours and your sure to be enjoying it again.
Gotcha Force’s graphics are decent although some things are lacking. Outside of the square there’s no environment just an empty floating space. Robot designs are well done and there and there are many variations instead of just retextured robots. You can tell what units are what from a distance to give you an idea of how to approach them due to their exaggerated styles and weapons. Character art is clean during conversations and changes when needed for expressions when it’s needed. Music in Gotcha force gets the job done with a Snowboard Kids like sound track. Voice acting is awful, some of the worst in video game history. It would rival Chaos Wars if the entire game had voice acting rather then just certain parts. Some voice acting in battles as well but usually not noticeable due to fast paced action.
Gotcha Force’s story mode is about 10 hours long. You will be disappointed to find that once you get out of story mode all the other modes are basically the same; Verses mode is just the ability to play with up to 4 players, which may be the main appeal for most people. Challenge mode allows you to fight multiple fights either solo or Co-op. Story mode is where you get most of your Gotcha Borgs from. How long you play after the story mode just really depends on if you’re still entertained by the combat or not. There’s over 200 different Gotcha Borgs to collect all with different stats, moves, specialties and combos. There’s a decent amount of replay value in Gotcha Force but it depends on how much you’re willing to do the same thing over and over again.
Overall Gotcha Force is a fun 3D action game, but it falls short when it comes to variety and story. For people who like to collect things like Pokemon there is plenty of Gotcha Borgs to try to obtain to keep you busy. If you want some quick fast action then Gotcha Force might be the game for you. If you want some depth to your combat though, you should look else where. It’s worth Amazons 20$ price point. I wouldn’t recommend that you purchase it for anything above that though.